Tag Archives: Brookings
Cross-posted from Global Dashboard.
There have been growing demands for greater independent evaluation of foreign aid for at least half a decade now. As William Easterly argued as far back as 2006:
We need independent evaluation of foreign aid. It’s amazing that we’ve gone a half century without this. . . . [Truly independent evaluation of aid would] give feedback to see which interventions are working and give incentives to aid staff to find things that work.
The Center for Global Development summarized the need in its report When Will We Ever Learn? Improving Lives Through Impact Evaluation:
Impact evaluations do not have to be conducted in-house. Indeed, their integrity, credibility, and quality is enhanced if they are external and independent.
India’s medley of languages, religions, castes, and classes are all are obstacles to a common identity. But after six decades, there is little doubt that a common identity does exist in the “new India”, even if it is always being contested by one narrower identity or the other.
On the one hand, that seems incongruous with the emergence of local control. At the same moment India is watering down local identities and creating a national one, it seems odd that they also are enhancing the control of local authorities. Or at least starting to do so.
But in a continent-wide federation, national identity is almost a requirement. Secession becomes much less likely when identity no longer conforms directly with geography. The rights of minorities — religious, ethnic, economic— can be less easily cast aside. So it just may be that India is now comfortable enough with a national identity that it is allowing local voices to flourish. . . .
[But] strong state governments [contribute to] . . . productive city and state political systems. States are the laboratories of democracy. And they groom national leaders . . .
India is now experimenting with [decentralization] . . . Fearing secession, oppression and civil war, Nehru built a very strong and authoritative central state. Now, after six decades of mosaics and cultural melting, the question is not whether to empower states. The question is how, when, and over what issues should authority be returned to Indian states and cities.